Police have released the name of the man who died when his
glider crashed yesterday evening.
He was 60-year-old Michael John McKellow (known as Joe), of
Hororata, Selwyn District.
The crash occurred in the Snowy Tops area on Ribbonwood
Station, about 10.5km northwest of Omarama.
Mr McKellow, an experienced pilot who had flown
internationally, was piloting the fixed-wing glider when it
appeared to lose altitude rapidly before crashing on a gentle
slope on the western side of the peak.
He was the sole occupant and was participating in a private
flight with friend in another glider nearby. The friend
witnessed the crash and notified emergency services.
Police from Twizel, Kurow and Omarama and members of Omarama
and Wanaka search and rescue along with a cliff-face rescue
team and trauma doctor were called out to assist.
About six people, including the doctor, were flown in and
arrived at the crash site about 7.30pm, but found the pilot
Mr McKellow's body was flown back to Omarama last night and
taken to Oamaru.
The crash has been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority,
which will investigate today